KDLC News, April 21 2023

April 21, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Public Servants Strike: 7,000 locally, 155,000 across Canada
  2. VOTE: The People’s Referendum on healthcare privatization
  3. April 28 Day of Mourning Ceremony
  4. Ignite the Spark: Women’s leadership workshop
  5. Public talk on Winnipeg General Strike
  6. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

1. Public servants strike: 7,000 locally, 155,000 across Canada

On Wednesday, April 19, 155,000 federal public servants went on strike across Canada. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) reports around 7,000 members are on strike in the Kingston region. Picket lines are up at three locations: Joyceville Institution, Collins Bay Institution, and CFB Kingston. The pickets are large and energetic, often involving a few hundred members and supporters. For picket line locations across the country, check out PSAC’s “find a picket line” tool.

Wages are central to the dispute, with most reports stating the federal government is offering 8.25 percent over four years, and the union pressing for 13.5 percent over three years. Please contact your local Member of Parliament and encourage a fair settlement, not strikebreaking “back-to-work” legislation.

Did you know? This is the largest public servants strike in 32 years. In 1991, Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister. The strike achieved stronger job security during a period of deep cutbacks and privatization.

2. VOTE: The People’s Referendum on healthcare privatization

In Kingston and across Ontario, local health coalitions have launched a community-led referendum asking if we should privatize our public hospital. The Question being asked on the secret ballot is:

Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?

People can vote “Yes” or “No”. 

  • How to vote in Kingston
    Community voting booths will be setup across the city on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27. Pop-up advance polls are happening between now and May 26. All Ontario residents aged 16 or older and who pledge to only vote once are eligible to vote. The Kingston & District Labour Council will also provide notice of voting locations once available.
  • Workplace voting
    To organize a referendum vote at your workplace, the Kingston Health Coalition can provide both literature and the materials needed to hold the vote. If you or your union is interested, please contact the Kingston Health Coalition at 613-305-2716, or email kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com.
  • Volunteers needed! Get active!
    To ensure that the maximum number of people have a chance to vote we need dozens of voting stations in Kingston.  If you know a business, or good public location, where we can hold a poll (it consists of a small table outside on the sidewalk, lawn or patio area near, but not interfering with, a walkway, and staffed for all voting hours) please contact us with your suggestion and how to get permission to put our polling station there. To volunteer, please call 613-305-2716 to volunteer, or email kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com.

3. April 28 Day of Mourning Ceremony

When: Friday, April 28, 10:30am-12pm
Where: OPSEU Hall, 824 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston

What: April 28 is recognized by the Canadian Labour Congress as the National Day of Mourning to remember and honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace. Each year, nearly 1,000 workers in Canada lose their lives on the job, and over a quarter million workers suffer workplace injuries or illnesses.

Who: Guest speakers for the ceremony include workplace health and safety advocate Dorothy Wigmore, former migrant farm worker Gabriel Allahdua, and education worker and CUPE 1479 President Liz James.

For our program and more about our guest speakers, click here.

4. Ignite the Spark

“Lighting the way for women to assume leadership”

When: Saturday, May 27, 10am-3pm
Where: OPSEU Hall, 824 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston, ON

Register: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com
RSVP with any dietary restrictions by Monday, May 22nd

All interested women are welcome!
Lunch provided

Women can make a difference by holding elected offices in government, unions, community organizations, and school boards. This interactive workshop hosted jointly by the Kingston & District Labour Council and OPSEU/SEFPO Provincial Women’s Committee has been designed to help women identify their personal inspiration and envision themselves making a difference in the political sphere. Whether you are considering running for elected office, never considered it before, or are simply curious, this workshop is for you!

Link to event for sharing: click here.

5. Public talk on Winnipeg General Strike

When: Saturday, April 22, 2:00-3:30pm
Isabel Turner Public Library branch, 935 Gardiners Road

Through a series of images, author and historian Michael Dupuis will take the audience through the 6-week historic strike – one which ultimately resulted in the creation of the principle of collective bargaining/union recognition and establishment of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, precursor of the New Democratic Party.

6. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: May 15, 7pm
    Meeting details and documents will be distributed May 8
  • Next KDLC News: May 5
    To list events and reports in KDLC News, please send to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com before May 3.
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com